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Definition

A publication is a distinct text or graphic-based work, in whatever medium and whatever format, made available to a public wider than the publishing institution. It must have identifiers like an international standard number and/or a catalogue number.

Publications can be:

Studies, reports, factsheets, magazines, newsletters, posters including maps (minimum A3), bookmarks, postcards, flyers (single unfolded sheet <A3), leaflets (2–16 pages folded unbound), books/editions (bound >8 pages), folders, info packs, eBooks, audiovisual material, mobile apps, dynamic data visualisation, etc. 

(Information provided by the Publications Office of the European Union).

Purpose

Ensuring consistency in the way we identify and present publications on official Commission EU and EC websites helps the audience:

  • know what is available,
  • understand how to navigate,
  • easily find certain categories of content.

Rules

Do not upload Publications directly on your website. To ensure consistency and security on the official EU and EC websites, upload the publication to its dedicated repository and add a link to this repository from your website. For more information on the topic, please refer to this guide’s section about file formats.

Use the Publications Office services

The Publications Office of the European Union is an inter-institutional office whose mandate is to manage and disseminate the publications of the institutions of the European Union (Decision 2009/496/EC, Euratom).

Its core activities include:

  • producing and officially disseminating legal and general publications in a variety of paper and electronic formats
  • managing a range of websites providing EU citizens, governments and businesses with digital access to official information and data from the EU, including the EUR-Lex, the EU Open Data Portal, EU Publications, TED (Tenders Electronic Daily), and CORDIS
  • ensuring long-term preservation of content produced by EU institutions and bodies (archiving service).


Get an official identification/catalogue number for your publication

For any publication, ask the Publications Office for international standard numbers and/or catalogue numbers, and give the Office an electronic version of your publication (in whatever format) as well as two paper copies of the publication where appropriate for archiving. 

Mandatory and non mandatory publications 

The Publications Office mandate defines two categories of  publications (article 2.3 and 2.4):

  1. mandatory publications: publications published pursuant to the Treaties or other legislative texts. Mandatory publications are your legal texts and must be published by the services of the Publications Office. They are generally annual reports detailing your services’ activities.
  2. non-mandatory publications: publications produced under the prerogative of any institution. The rules for publishing non-mandatory publications should be set out in your institution’s publications governance. Publications with an official identification/catalogue number, however, should be published by the services of the Publications Office.

Publications of the EU institutions, agencies and bodies produced by the Publications Office (OP) are automatically disseminated via the OP portal, on the EU Publications website.

In the case of publications not produced with the Publications Office, you must:

  1. Request identifiers or publishing services via Dempub
  2. Add identifiers to existing pdf, HTML etc. files (catalogue number, DOI, ISBN and in some cases ISSN)
  3. Send final files to the Publications office (OP-CONTENT-ACQUISITION@publications.europa.eu

The Publications Office will still ensure cataloguing and publication on the OP portal as well as dissemination via partner services and archiving.

Use the dedicated web tool to embed OP publications on your website. Guidance is available on the OP portal.

Sites developed on Corporate web development platforms

If your site is developed with the corporate web development platforms (Europa Web Publishing Platform or Open Europa), you must use content types- templates to add publications to the site:   

  1. The publication content type collates a file or series of files that belong together, grouping content–for example reports, factsheets, studies–that covers a common theme. Upload the publication to its dedicated repository and use this content type to:
    • publish a file or group of files (ie documents) that belong together
    • feature a file in the relevant context, for example under Documents, Related items
    • allow the aggregation of related files via the publications listing (pool) page, ensuring users can easily find and filter relevant files on criteria such as keywords and dates.
  2. The file content type: if files are not already available in the CMS, use the File content type to make files available for download from a publication page.
  3. The publication listing page: allow the aggregation of related files via the publications listing page, ensuring users can easily find and filter relevant files on criteria such as keywords and dates.

Create a publication-listing page if:

  • a document (report, study, etc.) has one or more annexes or chapters stored in separate files, likely to be mentioned on multiple pages
  • a document is related to other documents, to provide access to all documents together
  • the file or document needs to be accessible via the list of the 'publications class’. If a file is not added to a publication page, the file will not show up in the list of publications
  • users would benefit from a summary or from structured, detailed information about the publication (e.g. author, department, publication date, reference number) to decide whether to download the file
  • a history of older versions of the same document is needed
  • you want to create collections of publications and link to these, e.g. all annual activity reports for a DG
  • you want to link (redirect) to a publication on the Publications office or Open data portal.

Copyright on publications

Please refer to this guide’s section about legal notice and copyright.

Accessibility

If you need further assistance on the topic, please contact the accessibility expert team of the Publications Office: OP-ACCESSIBLE-PUBLICATIONS@publications.europa.eu

The Publication Office of the European Union which registers publications and manages few official repositories:

  • EUR-Lex: the Official Journal of the European Union, EU case law and other resources for EU law
  • EU Open Data: the catalogue of datasets from the EU institutions and other bodies
  • EU Publications: reports, studies, information booklets, magazines and other publications from the EU institutions  and other bodies
  • CORDIS: information about the results of EU-funded projects
  • TED (Tenders Electronic Daily): Public procurement notices from the European Union and beyond.

Other Corporate repositories:

Contact and support

Need further assistance on this topic? Please contact the team in charge of the Europa Domain Management (EU Login required).

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The Europa Web Guide is the official rulebook for the European Commission's web presence, covering editorial, legal, technical, visual and contractual aspects.
All European Commission web sites must observe the rules and guidelines it contains.
Web practitioners are invited to observe its contents and keep abreast of updates. More information about the web guide.